Under the Belt & Road Initiative, China has contributed efforts to improve living conditions in Cuba and other Latin American countries. This year is the fifth anniversary of the idea of forging a community with a shared future between China and Latin America.

The first train entirely made up of Chinese wagons began operating last week between Havana and Santiago de Cuba, the second-largest city in the island country.

The passengers who participated in the inaugural trip in the new cars that Cuba has received for the first time in 44 years, celebrated the service with shouts like “Thank you China.”

With China’s help, Jamaica built its first expressway and reduced the two-hour journey from the north coast to the south to 45 minutes. The old and worn infrastructure has been one of the limiting factors that hinder the development of many Latin American countries.

Among those countries is Argentina, where China also provided a variety of equipment and expertise to help it renovate its railway lines, which are needed to reduce the logistical costs of freight transportation in 18 of its 23 provinces.

Likewise, in the province of Chubut de la Patagonia, in southeastern Argentina, Chinese companies are harnessing the power of the region’s strong winds to generate energy in the Loma Blanca I, II, III and VI wind farms.

In Brazil, with backing from Chinese firms, the water supply program known as the Sao Lourenco Produtor System addressed the chronic shortage of the vital liquid for more than 20 million Brazilians. With closer ties between China and Latin America, residents do not have to worry about their access to electricity or drinking water.

Since 2000, the volume of trade between China and Latin America has increased by approximately 20-fold. Data show that more than two thousand Chinese companies have invested or done business in Latin America, creating 1.8 million jobs for the local community.

China has reiterated its willingness to improve cooperation with Latin America, unite the development strategies of individual countries under the Belt & Road Initiative, and jointly forge a community with a shared future between China and Latin America, which is the natural extension of the 21st century Maritime Silk Road.

Editor’s note: The article reflects the author’s opinion only, and not necessarily the views of editorial opinion of Belt & Road News.